Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Address: Calle 21 y O, Havana, 10400, Cuba | 3 star hotel
 
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Location

This 3 star hotel, located in the Tlalpan Sur/South area of Havana, is near Old Havana, Cementerio de Colon, Plaza de la Revolution, and Museum of Decorative Arts.
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      TravelPod Member ReviewsHotel Nacional de Cuba Havana

      Reviewed by mmbcross

      The Grande Dame of Cuban hotels

      Reviewed Jun 10, 2014
      by (15 reviews) Miami Springs , United States Flag of United States

      This exotic and renown hotel is well located in the classy (or at least it was classy prior to 1959) Vedado District on a low cliff facing the world famous malecón, a ten minute taxi ride from the historical centre. Built in 1930 as a casino hotel, it still exudes glamour and excitement. All the top people stay here. It's been refurbished and declared a national monument. Rooms vary in size from quite small for singles to huge doubles, priced accordingly. Bathrooms are all updated, but toilet flushes sometimes require pumping as is you were on a yacht. Some rooms still have carpeted floors, and are showing their age. Other rooms are labeled with the famous guests that stayed there. I slept in Tennessee Williams' room! Excellent section of bars and restaurants, though prices are a bit steep by Cuban standards. The buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner on "B" floor is excellent. One of the bars has photos of all the famous personalities that stayed here. The lobby is poorly designed and is very chaotic when the hotel is full in high season, with long queues for check-in and out. There is a lovely swimming pool hidden away on "B" floor. Has evening entertainment, including a cabaret show rivaling the Tropicana (in content, but not location).

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by sharonscanlan

      Historic Hotel

      Reviewed Feb 6, 2014
      by (11 reviews) , United States Flag of United States

      A must-stay. Yes, the carpet could be replaced but the rooms are large, comfortable and spacious on the Executive Floors. Breakfast was excellent and the history is wonderful.

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by roadscholarorg

      5 glorious days

      Reviewed Mar 11, 2013
      by (3 reviews) , United States Flag of United States

      .....wear your flexibility hat and you'll love it!!!!

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by kirby1306

      A grand place to stay.

      Reviewed Mar 31, 2012
      by (1 review) Birmingham , United Kingdom Flag of United Kingdom

      Hotel Nacional de Cuba was just amazing. It looked grand and was very clean and in a great location. Rooms were quite simple but extremely clean and did the job , especially for those who don't spend much time in hotel rooms because you are too busy exploring the surrounding area. The outside space was brilliant, we sat at a table sipping cocktails whilst looking out over Havana. All hotel staff were extremely friendly. Breakfast was well presented with lots of choice, however, we did decide to eat our evening meal in the hotel restaurant one evening and it was nowhere near as good as what was provided at breakfast time so I would suggest for an evening meal it is better to find a nice local restaurant. There is a money exchange counter and a small swimming pool and sun lounge area , it was small but to be honest in Havana you should be out and about sightseeing etc!! Apparently some very famous people have stayed there in the past , if its good enough for them its good enough for you and me!
      A definite must stay!!

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by carofree

      Fun but noisy

      Reviewed Nov 9, 2011
      by (16 reviews) London , United Kingdom Flag of United Kingdom

      A fabulous iconic hotel.. I stayed in a lovely large room overlooking the main entrance, it was a little noisy but then I think it is just a noisy hotel.
      Breakfast. the only meal we had was ok, though the Cuban coffee station was fab... We also did the hotel tour which was very interesting and gives you the history of the hotel. All in all a great stay

      view of hotel
      Havana, Cuba

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by c.i.222

      A must visit even if not staying there.

      Reviewed Oct 11, 2011
      by (20 reviews) Sunnyvale (zip 94087) in Silicon Valley , United States Flag of United States

      Nacional Hotel is a historic hotel opened in 1930 that had many VIPS and actors staying there during its hayday. Frank Sinatra's bedroom is adjacent to the Mafia office on the second floor with many other notables from that period. When we're in Havana, we always make it a point to at least visit there once to sit in the back patio to have drinks and a cigar on their comfortable red leather chairs and couches, and to watch the world go by. One can visit people from around the world there, another attraction for people not afraid to open up a conversation. Chairs and tables overlooking the Malecon is also a nice place to relax with two huge cannons pointed out to sea.

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Nacional de Cuba Havana

      Best hotel ever

      from

      without a doubt the hotel nacional is the best hotel i have ever stayed in ... the service is first rate ... the staff attentive and friendly but not overpowering ... the food could be better (but i make allowances with it being cuba!), that said the breakfast buffet is fantastic ... sitting out in the garden bar at sunset with a rum cooler watching the sea over colonial style gardens with the band gently playing is so decadent ... it reminds me of the setting of agatha christie novels in the carribean and with the dynamic and exciting city of havana on the doorstep you couldnt ask for more ... worth every last penny ...

      Needs Improvement

      from

      After a 10 night stay in Guardalavaca it was some what of a culture shock arriving in Havana. Upon arrival at the Nacional it is hard not to be impressed by the size of the hotel which is so well lit during the evenings. The lobby is also very impressive but quite often is full of too many people. After leaving the lobby I was quite disappointed.

      The hallways resembled school corridors and the rooms were far from what you expect of a 5* hotel. During my stay at the Nacional I found almost every member of staff to be quite unhelpful. The pool area needs a face lift as it appears very dated. All in all the hotal is average.

      If I return to Havana I will be staying at the Park Central Hotel. I also stayed here for a few nights and the hotel was nothing short of excellent.

      An historic beauty, worth every penny

      from

      This is the flagship hotel of Cuba. The Nacional is very old, but recently rebuilt, and now a great treasure and a pleasure to visit and to live in. Pay the extra for a room on the executive floor, the sixth floor. This avoids the crowds in the main lobby, as you check in on 6. You also eat breakfast there, and all your needs are taken care of by a staff assigned to the sixth floor. When I drove up to the door I simply told the valet to park the car and send the bags to the sixth floor, and walked straight in and onto the lift. On our floor the check-in desk had our reservation, wished me a happy birthday, and gave us an electronic key card. Rooms are large and well appointed. All amenities are in place, and the air conditioning is perfect. Safe deposit boxes are provided, as are multi-channel TVs. This is a great hotel with good service and helpful staff. The place reeks of history which has been well preserved and displayed. The cigar cave under the hotel lobby features a roller who worked for Partagas, as well as a superb selection of Havana's finest cigars. We ate dinner at an outdoor bar and grill names La Barraca, on the back lawn of the hotel. The BBQ'd and roasted food was great. This time we had a shaved coconut syrup with our cheese for dessert. This restaurant is named after the barracks which sat on this spot in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During my recent stay there was a music festival at the Nacional. I went to smoke cigars with the band in the basement cigar cave. They served free mojitas and cigars rolled by a woman who worked for Partagas for 30 years, but now works for the Nacional Hotel. The concert had two separate artists, Compay Segundo and Polo Montanez. Segundo is famous in North America and Europe for his appearance in the movie Buena Vista Social Club. The concert cost $40 to get a metal outdoor seat. It was on the hotel lawn. We sat at the hotel terrace in the smoking area on cushioned outdoor sofas. We couldn't see the stage very clearly but we were definitho spent the money. The sound was perfect for us, not too loud to talk. We also got to see a group of dancers who were enjoying the free music behind the rope line. The hotel maintains a good website which offers specials. Check out their rooms and offers, as well as their history pages. This is the finest and most historic hotel in Cuba, and worth at least a one night visit in a good room or suite. SALON PARISIEN, Hotel Nacional de Cuba. If you cannot make it to the Tropicana, or cannot afford the exorbitant tickets, try the Salon Parisien in the Nacional Hotel in downtown Havana. I think this is a better show than the Tropicana's: the dancing and music is better and more intense, and the costumers are brighter and more attractive. The dancers are amongst the best stage dancers I have seen anywhere. Eat dinner first, then get in line to get a good table for the show. It is spectacular. All the costumes were brightly colored and very skimpy. Some dances were very sensual but all were truly something to see. ... ($170-$220 double with breakfast)

      One man wild in Havana

      from

      The hotel has a great ambience and evokes an era when the hotel represented decadence and was awash with international playboys. Today it is largely full of tourists and conference delegates, but it was a beautiful moment to be sitting out on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Atlantic, reading Graham Green's, Our Man in Havana, and come to a page where he described exactly the same setting in the 1950's.I am slightly bewildered when people complain that Havana in many places is impoversihed and decaying. Was this a revelation to you on your arrival or were you expecting Madrid in the Caribbean? If that bothers you, then it is probably best avoided. It is a case of adapting to your environement and changing your expectations of what you want from a city. What I would recommend is that you hang out with the Cubans and get to know one or two of the locals. Your hassles of begging, feeling lost or bewildered in this sprawling city come to an end. I met a guy called Carlos on my first day, then his family and his friends. He toured me round the city, spoke about how life was for him, got me into an All-Star baseball game where I got to see Castro and then we hit the best bars and clubs (amazing reggae, dancehall and salsa) that only the locals would know about. Not bad for my first day.A few days with Carlos and he was guide, bodyguard, host and drinking buddy. Cynically you may say that he was only doing it for the money, though he wouldn't accept any payment, all I had to do was buy the drinks and send him a Bob Marley tape and a pair of Levis on my return. A final word about the Nacional. The food is pretty ghastly, but if you go to the local markets and see what Cubans have to live on, I wouldn't be too vocal with them about the standards of hotel food.

      Don`t judge Cuba by same standards as Las Vegas

      from

      I found Cuba impossible to rate in standard holiday terms. I stayed at the Nacional and, frankly, if you are looking for servile, attentive "have a nice day" service or "de luxe" Caesar`s Palace style surroundings you will be disappointed. It is ,however, a friendly, laid back establishment and is the only hotel I have ever lived in where the staff seem better educated than the guests. Mornings are best:the breakfasts are excellent and the grounds are particularly beautiful and atmospheric at 7,00 a.m. Havana is like no other city I have ever visited. No Starbucks or McDonalds and the locals (at least the older ones)are proud of it! I did not get the impression I was amongst a cowed, oppressed people, yet the American tourists I met saw Castro`s secret police everywhere. Most of these were Christian fudamentalists and by European standards very right wing. One told me that a few mornings earlier "crowds of Cuban refugees" had been gathering on the Malecon after false rumours had been spread that boats would arrive to take them to Miami. I had jogged along the Malecon early on the morning in question and had seen only sleepy fishermen and strolling couples. Maybe Fidel had already had them shot! There is no doubting the lack of material wealth, however, and I was regularly stopped by mostly young men and women asking for "one dollar". It could become irritating but they were always polite. There were also ,more worryingly ,many prostitutes in their early teens plying their trade in the city centre while the local police turned a blind eye. Like a previous contributor,I was captivated by the song "yolanda" which I heard sung by one of the many superb bands performing in street,restaurant and bar. My best experience was the club on the top floor of the Havana Libre Hotel listening to a high energy electric Sol band ( three trombones in a five piece jazz section!). Magnificent views of the cite and at midnight the ceiling slid open revealing a beautiful starlit sky. If you go to Cuba willing to accept it and its people at face value you will love it. For the rest there is always Las Vegas.

      Havana - Never again

      from

      The most depressing place I've ever been. Abject poverty and subjugation. Everything is falling apart. Kevin Gralton sesails@yahoo.com

      Good to have a look, but...

      from

      For our first trip to Cuba, I did not think of booking anything but Nacional, because of its history and reputation.Yes, the whole building is beautiful, classic ambiance. Room was a bit small but nice and retro. However, we were there duting the Carnival of Havana and surrounding was quite noisy till early morning, and what is most annoying is that, cleaning ladies are chatting in the corridor so loud, that you simply wake up.But, the concierge and the reception were both extremely nice and helpful. The exclusive restaurant had a great meal and piano music.However, for our comfort, I would not choose this hotel again.

      Do not waste your time

      from

      I stayed here briefly on my way to Varedero and I thought the hotel was awful and the service was the worst I had ever had. I also ended up very sick from the food I will never return!

      Peacocks, mojitos, cigars and Yolanda

      from

      It was February of 1998 that I travelled to Cuba with the World's Affairs Council, and I can not wait to gat my feet back on that island! We stayed at the Hotel Nacional while in Havana and were treated to world class service and food.

      Wandering about the grounds were spectacular peacocks who seemed to know all about tourists and photographers, and "fanned their tails" non-stop, or so it seemed. At night we'd gather outside sipping Hemingway's favorite rum drink, a mojito; be daring and smoke cigars that we nmight

      not be inclined to think about smoking at home (you know, when in Rome . . .)and listen to a fabulous band of musicians playing traditional Cuban music. (Music, they say, is what keeps the Cuban soul alive). If you read this, ask that group to play Yolanda; it is a love song, and even without knowing what's being said, I promise, you will fall in love with the song, the Cubans, and all of Cuba in general!! I hope you will have a wonderful vacation in Cuba, and upon your return, perhaps even contemplate how

      unattractive it is for our wonderful country to still hold an embargo against this generation of Cubans.

      An experience

      from

      Definitely worth the effort (despite being unable to call and book from outside Cuba due to limited phone lines). A monumental hotel, great sense of history, lovely view and a bit of a distance from Old Havana, but taxis only about $4. Had the most fantastic meal in the Comedor de Aguiar - great for a special occasion. The only downside is that there are so many guests wandering around that the entrance lobby feels like a mall.

      TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Nacional de Cuba Havana

      4.00 of 5 stars Excellent
       

      Travel Blogs from Havana

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      48 photos

      Español: ¡Hola a todos! Voy a empezar mi primer blog con un resumen de mi viaje internacional más reciente, Cuba. Siempre he querido visitar Cuba y afortunadamente tuve la oportunidad de conocer este bonito país a través de Friendly Planet, una agencia de viajes que tiene una visa particular con el gobierno estadounidense para que los americanos …

      Chapter Fifteen - Havana. Part 1

      A travel blog entry by mmbcross on Jun 09, 2014

      1 comment, 40 photos

      This great city of Havana, with a population of just over 2 million, is unique in the world. In 1959 I sailed into Havana as an apprentice on the British merchant ship "Potosi". In 2013/14 I visited Havana again with my Road Scholar groups. The skyline had not changed in fifty-five years. This gives you an idea of a city pickled in aspic.

      Good sites, cigars, food, and drinks in Cuba

      A travel blog entry by c.i.222 on Oct 11, 2011

      91 photos

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      Nacional Hotel sign


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      Return to Havana & Locating CubaRuta Bikes

      A travel blog entry by dogtravelers2 on Apr 23, 2014

      3 photos


      Return to Havana - quick trip to CubaRuta Bikes to work out bikes for Thursday

      CubaRuta Bikes
      Calle 16 No 152, esquina a 13,
      Vedado, Havana 10400, Cuba
      +53 5 2476633

      Re-discovered Old Havana

      A travel blog entry by dogtravelers2 on Apr 22, 2014

      6 photos

      Old Havana. Began our day with a visit to a primary school (ages 5-12) located in Old Havana. Interacted with the children in their classrooms and participated in a discussion session with some of the school's administrators and teachers about Cuba’s education system and how it compares to that of the United States.



      Traveler Photos Hotel Nacional de Cuba Havana

      02. The Malecon from the Hotel Nacional
      Havana, Cuba
      2- Hotel Nacional
      Havana, Cuba
      03. First light, Hotel Nacional
      Havana, Cuba
      Hotel Lobby
      Havana, Cuba
      1. The Hotel Nacional from our balcony
      Havana, Cuba
      Hotel Nacional de Cuba
      Havana, Cuba
      2. Late afternoon stroll to the Nacional
      Havana, Cuba
      view of hotel
      Havana, Cuba
      08 The Hotel´s Courtyard
      Havana, Cuba